How to Choose the Best Library Door Counter

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Library door counter - people counting at the library

Libraries are essential resources in many communities. They serve as gathering spaces, a place to take classes and learn new skills, and a refuge for students who need a quiet place to study and pursue school projects. Libraries often operate on tight budgets, however, and must find the most efficient ways to deliver the best service for patrons. That’s where people counting technology comes in — and onetech asset that can make a significant impact is a library door counter.

A library door counter tallies each patron who comes through your library doors to help you understand traffic patterns, justify funding requests, and adjust staffing needs accordingly. These counters are designed in various ways, so take a good look at your library’s architecture to determine which door counter is right for you.

Why Do Libraries Need People Counters?

Libraries make books, resources, technology, and information available to everyone, including people who might not otherwise be able to afford access. But they are perpetually in need of funding to supplement the meager revenue they generate. College libraries, for example, receive less than 3% of the money spent on higher education, despite studies that link student achievement with having use of a well-staffed and well-funded library.

Funding requests are most successful when backed by hard facts that clearly demonstrate the need. Circulation information, such as the number of books checked out in a given period, does not provide an accurate or complete picture of library usage. Many people visit the library for other reasons, such as using the computers to do research, or bringing kids in for story time in the children’s section. Counting the number of patrons is a better measure than counting books checked out.

Some additional signs that you need a people counting system include the following: 

  1. Justifying project funding is a nightmare: As a nonprofit, with little to no revenue generation, libraries exist at the mercy of the communities they serve.  Proving that you’re a vital and well-used resource in the community boils down to a numbers game.
  2. Determining display effectiveness is impossible: With people counters positioned in zones that harbor different displays, you can monitor traffic trends overtime— and with each change of display— to see which display generated the most interest in library patrons.
  3. Your circulation desk is frequently over or under staffed: People counters will allow you to pull reports and analyze traffic trends overtime. With determined traffic trends, you will be able to identify your busy and slow periods and schedule staff accordingly.

Benefits of People Counters

Library door counters offer several benefits. First, they can help libraries make better business decisions. Budget cuts are an all-too-frequent occurrence, and they can reduce funding not only for materials but also for staffing and hours of operation. People counters provide data on which entrances and areas of the library get the heaviest use, and which times and days are the busiest. Knowing which areas experience the most traffic is helpful in deciding how to arrange resources such as exhibits, kiosks, or guest speakers. And seeing which resources are used most frequently can assist in deciding which lesser-used resources can be pruned when it’s time to tighten the belt.

Second, people counters can help libraries stay in compliance with state standards that govern such factors as labor percentages and technology usage. Library door counters provide the best detailed statistics to report so that state governments and taxpayers know how the money they provide is being spent.

Third, library door counters can help libraries make cases to administration to gain more funding. Across the country, public libraries have been enduring reductions in their operating revenue, even though circulation, program attendance, and computer use have all been on the rise. When they need to make a strong case for funding to continue providing those resources, libraries can use the data from their people counters as evidence of the demand.

Armed with traffic statistics, libraries can make appeals for additional resources and technology, such as an expanded computer lab with faster, high-capacity broadband Internet access to best meet patrons’ needs. Libraries can also petition for additional staffing and hours of operation by providing the numbers of patrons using the facility on a daily basis. The ability to clearly demonstrate necessity is the key to a successful funding proposal — and that’s what a people counter can do.

Horizontal vs. Overhead Counters

The type of doorway will influence the kind of people counter that best fits your needs. For narrow entrances, a door-mounted horizontal door counter will suffice. The horizontal door counter is the simplest of all people-counting systems. It functions by tallying every person who interrupts the infrared sensor beam by walking through the doorway. Generally speaking, only one person at a time can enter through a narrow, standard-size doorway, making the horizontal library door counter a suitable choice.

For larger entrances where multiple people can come and go at once, however, a horizontal door counter would provide an inaccurate traffic count, as two people entering and interrupting the sensor beam simultaneously would likely only be counted as one. For these wider doorways, a library door counter that’s mounted overhead would be a better option.

Overhead library door counters can use either thermal sensors — to pick up each entrant’s body heat — or video recording to count people entering the library. When deciding between the two types of overhead counters, it’s important to remember that video recording carries with it some surveillance and privacy concerns, as some of your patrons may feel entitled to have their privacy preserved.

Where to Put Your People Counters

Depending on the size of your library, you may benefit from having people counters distributed throughout your facility. For example, you might want to install people counters in the children’s reading section, the audio book area, or other spaces that experience high traffic. This will help you to determine when the highest volume of patrons visit these areas and schedule your library staff as needed.

You’ll also need to decide which type of people counter is best suited for each individual area. While your main entrance may only need a horizontal door counter, you might find overhead thermal sensors give you the best results in the children area or computer lab.

By evaluating the data provided by your library door counters, you’ll be able to understand which areas of your library need more or fewer staff members to manage and monitor patrons as well as the best placement for promotional book displays and other important materials.

How Software Can Help

Your library door counter is only as useful as the software that compiles and makes sense of all the data it collects. This user-friendly software gives you access — virtually in real time — to your traffic data via any internet-connected computer or mobile device. Use your software platform to generate reports that offer critical insights about your library traffic that can influence and inform your decision-making.

Door counters are becoming an important feature of the modern library facility. In choosing the library door counter that’s right for your institution, you’re poised to make objective, data-driven decisions on how best to serve your patrons and create the space your community needs. Contact a Traf-Sys representative today to learn how you can add people counting capabilities to your library.

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How to Use Your Gift Shop as a Tool to Drive Foot Traffic

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Gift shops. You may consider them as a way to gain a little extra revenue from guests who come to “ooh” and “aah” at the fascinating exhibits in your museum, check books out of your library or to purchase university branded items from you student store but if you think like a retailer when it comes to what you stock and how you display it, you may just notice your gift shop becoming one of your most popular sources of extra revenue. Here are a few tips to get you started:

Swag

Have you considered that your gift shop could be a shopping destination on its own? You may not think that people are visiting your museum, college or library just to see the gift shop, but if you offer unique gift options that visitors find valuable, they may just make you’re their go to spot the next time they need to buy a great present for someone. Most people who visit you are already fans, so use that to your advantage and offer artistic décor and functional products that fit with your themes. For example, the Museum of Modern Art in NYC offers unique bookshelves inspired by art exhibits, and the Metropolitan Museum carries book ends modeled after the divine guardians of the Assyrian palace at Nimrud. Offering functional décor not only drives foot traffic, but it allows visitors to create their own artistic displays within their homes.

Flow

The popular and mysterious graffiti artist known as “Banksy” released a documentary titled “Exit through the Gift Shop” in 2010. While his documentary focused on the inauthenticity of one man’s street art, the title came from a common practice within museums and theme parks. It’s not hard to see why this practice is so common. Control the flow of foot traffic within your space and make the gift shop the natural final destination of your visitors. If you place your shop at the end of your tour, circulation desk or museum experience, you encourage additional purchases because the souvenirs and products you offer reinforce their visitor experience in their minds, making them likely to remember you for their next shopping trip.

Local Artists and Vendors

What better way to drive foot traffic and promote talent than to showcase and sell the work of local artists, craftsmen and small businesses in your gift shop? Featuring products locally made and sourced is a great way to invest in your own community. Many small vendors are happy to have their products featured in your gift shop as a way to showcase their products, especially small online merchants who may not have a brick and mortar presence.

eCommerce

In season 2 of the hit show “Stranger Things,” one of the characters dons a purple hoodie from the Science Museum of Minnesota, complete with a brontosaurus skeleton on the front and the words “Thunder Lizard.” Fans of the show were eager to get their hands on the shirt, and the science museum saw an increase in foot traffic because of it, but many weren’t able to make it all the way to Minnesota. Luckily, they had an eCommerce site (which subsequently crashed from all the online traffic after the episode aired). By showcasing your best-selling souvenirs online, out-of-town fans will be able to purchase them. Not only that, but you can do cross promotions on your online store with specials you are running in your physical gift shop to drive traffic to your location.

Utilize People Counters to Improve Your Gift Shop

Measuring foot traffic gives you valuable data so you can determine how many of your visitors make it to the gift shop. This provides valuable insight when making data driven business decisions. Putting people counting solutions in the entrance and in different areas around your gift shop can tell you what the natural flow of foot traffic is within your gift shop, and where your most popular displays are. Use this data to create new display areas, order inventory, and re-vamp your current souvenirs. If the data reveals that you aren’t getting as much traffic in your gift shop as you would like, you can determine what needs to be changed and measure the progress.

You are probably fantastic at creating memorable experiences for your visitors that keep them coming back, but if your gift shop isn’t putting its best foot forward, your visitors may be left with nothing to show for their trip. By thinking like a retailer and using your gift shop as a tool to drive foot traffic, you can give your visitors a way to commemorate their visit and bring in new visitors with who may have never made the trip otherwise.

If you are looking to increase your foot traffic to your museum, library or university and are ready to start gaining valuable data to aid you in your business decisions, contact us today to discuss the ways we can help.

How to Count Crowds & Measure Attendance at Events

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You invested a lot of time and money planning, marketing, and holding your special event. After all is said and done, you may feel good about the outcome—it seemed like a success. Or was it? Your true marker for positive return on investment hinges on reliable large crowd counting to determine the actual number of people that attended your new store opening, a guest author engagement at your library or a visiting exhibit at your museum.

Using estimated counts or cruder methods of crowd size measuring do not give you the important data you need to determine success. Use these processes to get the answer you really need: The actual number of attendees.

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How to Count Attendance at Events

Events that are enclosed and have defined entrance areas with a place to mount an overhead sensor in a doorway or entryway are the easiest to manage. Thermal-based and video-based sensor people counting devices are perfect for these situations and for large crowd counting.

Thermal devices monitor body heat signatures to collect data while video people counters have the ability to filter strollers and children, as well as tight groups of people entering at the same time, making it ideal for counting people at an event where you experience a heavier volume of foot traffic than you normally experience.

These people counting technologies can achieve a 95% to 98% accuracy rate so you can feel confident in your counts, regardless of the number of people that are attending your special event.

Estimating Attendance at Open Venues

Public events that are not ticketed such as community festivals, college days or outdoor fundraisers require a different method of large crowd counting and are a little trickier. However, you can also use thermal and video counting technology in these cases with a little creativity.

First, to estimate attendance at an event, you will have to define a specific entrance area where all the guests must pass through. Second, you need to build something to give you overhead mounting capability for your people counting technology. Generally, this can be easily accomplished with a simple trussing system.

The extra effort is worthwhile when you consider how difficult it is to count the number of people at a free or public event. If your event is an annual occurrence, then understanding your attendance rates for budgeting and funding purposes is even more crucial.

Use People Counters to Count Attendance at Events

Using thermal-based or video-based sensors to gather accurate date and analyzing that data can provide information for journalistic or even historic records. Additionally, accurate large crowd counting arms you with ammunition to procure future funding by showing concrete proof of ROI. This hard data can also help determine staffing needs for future events, whether you need extra security or more volunteers to make things run smoothly.

Whatever your venue, understand that an accurate count of the extra people you bring into your space because of a special event is going to provide you valuable insight for planning future events.

Improve your next event with the help of Traf-Sys people counters. Request a free quote today!

The Pros and Cons of a Video-Based Sensor

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Overhead video-based sensors are an excellent way to track your customers entering and moving about your retail stores. This data can help you chart shopping trends or determine your staffing needs based on the busiest times of day. Using video-based sensors can also enhance security and theft prevention.

The video-based Eclipse people counter uses advanced image recognition technology that records highly accurate data under a wide set of conditions, such as high traffic areas, variable lighting, and wide entrance areas.

The Advantages of Video-Based People Counter

Consider these ways a video-based sensor for people counting can benefit your business:

  • Using multiple units, you have the ability to cover wide areas, which is beneficial for larger stores and shopping malls.
  • There is support for remote video capture when using an Internet-connected laptop or tablet.
  • In the event of a power outage, data can be safely stored within the solution’s flash memory, saving up to 10 days’ worth of data.
  • Video-based sensor counters can adjust quickly to changes in lighting and temperature.
  • These solutions have the ability to filter carts, children, and strollers, providing you a more accurate count of actual shoppers versus total number of people in the store.
  • It’s easy to upgrade these solutions so they are always running the latest software version.

When Video-Based People Counters May Not Be the Right Solution for You

Even though video-based people counters offer a wide variety of advantages, there are situations in which they may not be the optimal choice. Here are some additional facts to consider:

  • Areas of your facility affected by shadows, complex backgrounds or varying light levels may impact the counting accuracy of a video-based counter.
  • The capital investment and time and labor cost for installation is sometimes greater than for thermal sensor or infrared beam people counting systems.

Which System is Better?

Business owners and managers may question whether a video imaging or a thermal imaging people counter is the better choice. The fact is, both systems have their advantages. A thermal imaging counter system is superior for obtaining accurate counts, whereas overhead video-based sensors give you “eyes” to verify the numbers or filter to count only the demographics you are looking for. Speak an experienced people counting solution provider to determine which is the right system for your business.

Traf-Sys is dedicated to providing solutions that can meet the needs of any business or organization that needs reliable, accurate people counting data. Learn more about the Eclipse video-based sensor system here.

Reasons to Choose Thermal Imaging People Counters

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There are many people counting products available in the retail business market (e.g., door-mounted horizontal infrared beams, overhead video, thermal imaging, etc.), and not every type is right for every application. For malls and larger retail stores, museums, and libraries, the smart choice is a thermal imaging people counter designed to accurately monitor foot traffic numbers and pattern and to provide insights into customer or patron habits. Traf-Sys designed its Gazelle series thermal imaging systems to meet the challenges of these applications and deliver the best coverage and data collecting accuracy in the market today.

Here are six reasons thermal imaging people counters are the best investment for your business. 

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Foot Traffic Data from Thermal People Counters

A thermal imaging people counter provides more accurate foot traffic data when compared with less expensive systems such as infrared beam door monitors. Using infrared radiation detection, it is triggered by body heat, and can determine exactly how many people enter your store. Our Gazelle IP features state-of-the-art thermal counting technology and also provides you remote configuration capabilities.

Variable Lighting Conditions

Whether your establishment has bright sunlight or darker, lower lighting conditions, a thermal imaging people counter will be able to accurately determine traffic data because it does not depend on ambient light. The infrared sensors monitor temperature changes only, so the amount of light is irrelevant. This is especially beneficial in rapidly changing lighting conditions such as day-to-night outdoor monitoring. Our Gazelle 2 90° Wide-Angle Format people counting sensor is designed for highly accurate counts in these conditions. It also provides a 40% greater detection area than standard counters.

Accuracy Over an Extended Area

Larger facilities such as major retail businesses, university libraries, and museums have a more complex layout but still need an accurate people count over a large area for proper data analysis. Using multiple thermal imaging solutions, such as our Gazelle DualView or Gazelle IP along with Gazelle IP Node and Gazelle Relay Output for areas where a wired connection is impractical, provide counting capability over extended areas.

Easy Installation

Do you prefer a system that can be installed well out of the way? Thermal people counters usually are ceiling mounted — though they can be affixed to a wall with brackets if preferred — and you can install them between 11.5 feet and 27 feet from the ground. Discrete and unobtrusive, thermal people counters are a great solution for businesses looking to keep their traffic-tallying technology tucked away.

Array of Sizes of Thermal People Counters

While some people counters are limited in terms of where they can be installed effectively, thermal people counters perform well in entrances that are expansive or narrow, again because they rely on heat mapping to assign a count to each person in your doorway. In especially wide entrances, you can network together several thermal people counters to ensure that you’re achieving the most accurate count possible.

Thermal people counters also separate individuals entering from those who are exiting so you better understand the comings and goings of your traffic patterns.

Benefits of Thermal Imaging People Counter vs. Video Counters

Business owners and facility managers may question whether a video imaging or a thermal imaging people counter is the better choice. Each system has its own advantages, a thermal imaging counter system is superior for obtaining accurate counts and video gives you “eyes” to verify the numbers or filter to count only the demographics you are looking for.

Why debate? A solution that integrates both technologies will provide you with the best of both worlds. For example, in a retail application where you want to consider only adult consumers who enter a store, you can opt for our Gazelle DualView that includes thermal detection technology along with video that enables verification.

Choose Traf-Sys Thermal Imaging People Counters

Thermal imaging people counters are clearly the best choice for retail stores or other facilities that have high customer traffic, larger coverage areas, and challenges with lighting. Our Gazelle series incorporates this technology into solutions that can meet the needs of any business or organization that needs reliable, accurate people counting data.

Click to learn more about our Gazelle series or request a quote for additional information.

2018 Seasonal Library Program Planning Guide

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Library books for library program planning guideAs you strategize your library programming schedule for the year use this seasonal library program planning guide to aid your efforts. We’ve compiled a month-by-month list of a few holidays, national days and awareness months for you to consider. Once you use this library program planning guide to get organized and outline a solid schedule, don’t forget to have the means in place to measure the success of your programming efforts with technology like people counters.

By using our monthly 2018 seasonal library program planning guide you can:

  • Plan your entire year of programming for your library
  • Create a marketing and social media plan for each program
  • Finalize your requests for funding

January

National Blood Donor Month
Every two seconds in the U.S. someone needs blood. Partner with your local American Red Cross to make your library a mobile blood donation center and help the community, as well as draw patrons to your branch.

National Mentoring Month
The impacts of mentoring are far reaching. Consider making a special day where mentors and mentees can participate in special activities together at your library.

Holiday to Highlight: Martin Luther King, Jr Day

February

African American History Month
Honor the accomplishments of African Americans and their contributions to our culture from art to music to literature.

World Read Aloud Day
There is something special about hearing books read aloud. Children love story time and listening to books read aloud but it’s not just for kids. According to a report by the Audio Publishers Association twenty four percent of Americans enjoy listening to audio books.

Holiday to Highlight: Groundhog Day

March

National Women’s History Month
With so many amazing and strong women authors, leaders, civil rights advocates, athletes, scientists, doctors, philanthropists, and inventors throughout history it will be easy to devote an entire month to women.

Read Across America
Celebrated on the venerable Dr. Seuss’s birthday on March 2. This national day of reading awareness and motivation has become a favorite of children across the country.

Holiday to Highlight: St. Patrick’s Day

April

National Autism Awareness Month
Make your library an autism spectrum-friendly center for the month of April with hands-on displays, interactive stations and reading visuals.
National Library Week
Encourage the community to showcase your library, and don’t forget to show appreciation for your volunteers and staff this week as well. This year’s theme is “Libraries Lead.”

Holiday to Highlight: Arbor Day

May

National Foster Care Month
Give foster children, foster families and foster agencies extra special attention this month. Consider highlighting famous writers and people who were foster children.

Children’s Book Week
With the goal to make every child a reader, promoting this special week should be an easy win for your library.

Holiday to Highlight: Memorial Day

June

Hunger Awareness Month
Turn your library branch into a donation center to support the local food kitchens in your area.

National Selfie Day
On June 21 encourage selfies at your library and ask visitors to hashtag your branch. This is a great way to engage your volunteers, staff, and visitors through social media.

Holiday to Highlight: Flag Day

July

National Ice Cream Month
Invite patrons into your library, out of the July heat to enjoy some air conditioning and ice cream.

International Day of Friendship
The United Nations designated this day as a way to bring humanity together through friendship.

Holiday to Highlight: Fourth of July

August

American Artist Appreciation Month
Line your walls with featured American artists and invite visitors to become American artists themselves by offering workshops for painting, sculpture and drawing.

National Crayon Collection Month
Help collect school supplies for the kids headed back to school and feature fun coloring events during this month.

Holiday to Highlight: Book Lover’s Day

September

National Hispanic Heritage Month
A people rich in culture there are so many ways your library can incorporate Hispanic heritage into your programming from food to music to poetry.

National Recovery Month
Celebrate those who have overcome addiction this month. With the staggering drug epidemic putting a positive message into the community as well as bringing awareness through your programs could connect you with many of your visitors.

Holiday to Highlight: Labor Day

October

Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Think pink this month and use your library to offer breast cancer awareness education and activities this month.

National Reading Group Month
Invite book clubs to hold their meetings at your library this month and offer special benefits such as guest author speakers.

Holiday to Highlight: Halloween

November

Native American Heritage Month
Highlight your local Native American tribe in November. If you have reservations near you, invite them to participate in programming throughout the month.

National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month
Studies have shown that even late stage Alzehimer’s patients can usually read. Plus, reading is one of the leading activities that may help prevent the disease by exercising and keeping the mind active.

Holiday to Highlight: Veteran’s Day

December

Write a Friend Month
Turn your library into a writing center and celebrate the almost lost art of writing letters.

Pearl Harbor Day
Highlight World War II history and the bombing of Pearl Harbor in December.

Holiday to Highlight: Winter Solstice

Plan for Success for Your Library
Whether you are looking for new programming ideas or just need help organizing your thoughts, we hope the 2018 seasonal library program planning guide will help you have a successful year and don’t forget to measure your program success using people counting technology.

How Libraries Can Leverage Data and Increase Patronage

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big-libraryLibraries have come a long way toward shaking off their image as irrelevant institutions from a bygone era. Today’s libraries should adapt to the evolving needs of their communities by leverage data to improve their services and operations with even greater impact — and attract the visitors who sustain these institutions in the first place.

Use Data to Determine Your Community Demographics

What’s one simple mistake that organizations of all kinds make? Thinking you know your customers or patrons. It’s entirely possible that your library may know some of its demographics but even more likely that you’re missing the complete picture. Leverage data from many publicly available sources to “fill in the blanks” about the diversity of your patrons. You might start with these:

  • gov: Try comparing your patrons’ addresses with the addresses of the population area your library is in to see how much of the area you’re truly serving.
  • City or county government agencies: These groups typically manage a treasure trove of demographic and geographic data.

Take It to the People

Do you want to know what the patrons of your library want? Just ask them. There are many simple tools you can use to poll your patrons and community members to discover what, exactly, they want from you. Social platforms are especially useful for gathering feedback on the kinds of programs, activities and media your community wishes your library would offer. For example, if your library is in a predominantly retired community, you might want to shrink the young adults section in favor of titles that appeal to a more senior crowd. Or your social polling might reveal that your community of busy and tech-savvy young families wants to see more children’s literature added to your audiobook collection.

Leverage data from social polling and other direct-to-patrons methods to better align your library’s assets and activities with your community’s needs, which will aid in driving foot traffic through your doors and boosting your relevance among key constituents.

Data on Display(s)

How do you decide which books get the “front and center” treatment? There’s only so much room to promote a handful of titles so be sure to leverage data to ensure your book displays are achieving maximum impact. Technology such as people counters can help you discern which displays are drawing the most attention, and which are being largely overlooked.

From there, you can use the insights gained to inform future displays; for example, feature the same popular novelist whose mass paperback thrillers were a hit the last time around, or set up an eye-catching Harry Potter display including both the novels and films around Harry Potter’s birthday, July 31st.

Program Popularity

You labor diligently on planning your annual programs calendar. Keep that diligence going by leveraging objective data from people counters to get a handle on which of your programs are the stars. Because libraries typically operate under tight budgets, you can’t afford to spend precious dollars on poorly attended programs. Take action: for example, if a monthly program bombs for the first quarter of the calendar, replace it for the remainder of the year with something similar to an activity that attracts good attendance.

And in planning your cadence of programming, keep in mind that the programs that add value in our tech-first world may be different from successful programs of the past. Don’t be afraid of new ideas, especially if you’re leveraging data and researching other institutions’ successes to arrive at a modern new programs calendar.

If your library wants to increase patronage and community relevance, consider all of the ways that data can be your secret weapon in serving a new generation of library visitors.

Can People Counters Prevent Library Budget Cuts?

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prevent library budget cutsLibraries everywhere are competing for fewer financial resources these days, even as their importance to their communities grows. So what can institutions do to prevent library budget cuts and continue to expand and serve their patrons?

Libraries have evolved into more than just a destination for academia and research. They are critical community spaces, serving a wide range of patrons from schoolkids to seniors. A mother might bring in her toddler and pass a rainy afternoon reading books in the children’s room or an out-of-work library patron may faithfully take advantage of the library’s job-hunting resources. The modern library is many things to many people.

The range of important activities mentioned above often aren’t taken into account when many libraries tally visitors, logging patron counts solely based on materials such as books or videos being checked out. By overlooking patrons’ library usage that doesn’t involve taking media home, libraries are missing out on understanding exactly how community members are using their resources.

Many libraries still rely on archaic methods of counting visitors, such as asking an employee to tally each patron who comes in. But it’s easy for staff to become distracted or need to turn their attention to a patron inquiry, which can result in some visitors entering uncounted and yield an inaccurate total. Manual traffic counts are stressful (just ask anyone who has ever done one!) and a waste of your personnel’s time.

To prevent library budget cuts, institutions should utilize people counters to gain accurate insights into how the facility is being used. People-counting data shows patterns of usage over time, helping libraries to identify periods of peak demand as well as times when the volume of visitors is low. In addition, data from people counters can show in black and white the success of a library’s previous programs, which can be useful when trying to secure funding for new initiatives and ideas.

Most libraries are asked about program participant numbers, daily traffic stats and how many people attended the most recent library events when they submit grant proposals. Without hard numbers in hand, it’s often more difficult for libraries to get their proposals funded. With so much at stake, especially as municipalities are hard pressed to allocate dollars resourcefully and judiciously, to prevent library budget cuts be sure your institution has the essential people counting data to back up the funding you’re asking for. Paint a very clear picture for budget decision-makers; after all, it’s hard to argue with numbers and facts.

As libraries evolve from repositories of books and physical media into centers for Internet and technology access, these institution must also embrace the role of technology in advancing their operations and furthering their mission and goals. People counters are a valuable resource that can prevent library budget cuts by demonstrating the institution’s indispensable importance to the community. This technology can be the key difference-maker in getting decision-makers on your side when budget